The former international excelled in Russia before starring for the Nigerian national team, and he is confident that another youngster following his footsteps has all the ingredients to make it at the top level
One-time Nigerian forward Osaze Odemwingie has expressed the belief that new Super Eagles debutant Chidera Ejuke can become an important player for CSKA Moscow and the three-time African champions.
Ejuke arrived in Russia this summer after completing an €11.5 million move to the Red-Blues from Heerenveen on August 28.
It is a stunning rise in profile for the 22-year-old winger who joined the Eredivisie side for only €2 million twelve months earlier.
The former Golden Eaglets star has settled quickly to life in Moscow, scoring his first goal in the 3-1 defeat of bitter rivals Spartak Moscow and netting again last weekend in another 3-1 derby triumph over Dinamo Moscow.
Osaze, who was raised in Russia and spent time at CSKA Moscow’s youth academy before enjoying a fantastic career in France and England, is impressed with how far Ejuke has come in such a short time.
“For a year now, I have been communicating with him a little on Instagram. Followed his career,” the former Lokomotiv Moscow ace said on Match TV via Championat.com.
“He scored a goal against Spartak in the first match. Well done! He had a take-off in his career.
“He played in Scandinavia, then in the Netherlands, now CSKA. This is a top club. They don’t just sign anyone.
“Chidera is an explosive player with a good edge, can shoot and score. Young, promising.”
Ejuke’s excellent form over the past year saw him earn his first Super Eagles call-up this month, culminating in the youngster making his international debut on October 13 against Tunisia in Austria.
The ex-Valerenga star did not score as Nigeria could only play out a 1-1 draw with the North Africans.
But Osaze believes that Ejuke’s confidence will be boosted after realising a long-time dream of featuring for his fatherland.
“The impression was that he was a serious guy. He has always dreamed of playing for the Nigerian national team. He did it. It must add confidence.”
Ejuke contributed 16 goals (10 goals, six assists) in 29 games for Heerenveen and has already managed two goals in six matches for CSKA Moscow.
The Nigerian winger will hope to make his Europa League debut when CSKA travel to Austria on Thursday to face Wolfsberger.